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COVID-19 medical terms to help understand the pandemic

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24 Apr COVID-19 medical terms to help understand the pandemic

There’s a lot of medical and scientific jargon being used when discussing coronavirus. At Okomeds – Medical translations we’ve selected some medical terms to help you to understand the evolution of the pandemic.

Antiretroviral drugs

These are drugs that attack retroviruses such as HIV. Antiretrovirals block or slow down the enzyme that retroviruses use to cut up DNA. If a virus can’t cut up DNA, it can’t replicate itself and can’t make you ill. Because coronavirus also uses this enzyme, there has been some hope that existing antiretrovirals can fight the COVID-19 virus.

Antibacterial

This kills bacteria, but not viruses. Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than regular soap against viruses like the coronavirus.

Case fatality rate (CFR)

The number of infected people who die from a specific disease. The case fatality ratio is calculated by taking the number of people who have died from a disease and dividing it by the number of people who have caught that disease.

Clinical trial

A trial designed to test the effectiveness of a medication or treatment. Clinical trials include “controls.” A control is a person, group or lab specimen that doesn’t receive the new treatment. The goal is to see if the treatment really works, or if it just has a placebo effect or if changes are really being caused by something else.

Coronavirus

A group of RNA viruses that circulate in animals and humans. In humans they cause respiratory illnesses, which means that they provoke symptoms in the lungs, throat, and airways.

Epidemic

A large outbreak of a disease, taking place over a short period of time. An epidemic might affect a region or a country. Epidemics usually occur when a new disease emerges or when something happens to make people less immune to an existing disease.

Incubation period

The amount of time it takes for an infected person to start showing symptoms. Most people have developed COVID-19 symptoms by day 12, but some people will take longer.

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